Assessment Methods

Assessment is a crucial part of the learning process. It enables teachers to understand students have learned, and shows whether the subject has been taught well and if not, how teaching methods can be altered to improve learning outcomes.

To assess thoroughly we need to check each student’s knowledge, functional skills, practical skills and attitude to learning. Assessment should take place regularly throughout the learning process (formative assessment) and then at the end of the course (summative assessment). There is a variety of assessment tools available, such as question and answer sessions, games and quizzes, observation, assignments, examinations and professional questions. Assessment can be carried out by the class teacher, an alternative teacher, student peers or external examiners.   Assessment should always take place in a suitable environment, such as a quiet classroom with no mobile phones.

The three main methods of assessment are cognitive, effective and psychosomatic, otherwise referred to as knowledge, skills and attitude. As a teacher of graphic design I use many different ways to assess for knowledge such as, Q&A, activity and games, gapped handouts and group discussions, group tasks and assignments. To assess skills I use games and quizzes, practical tasks and co-worker statements. To assess learner attitude I use group tasks, observations, tutorials and individual leaning plans (ILP).

Whichever assessment method is used, it must satisfy the VACSR checklist. It is also crucial that the assessment is standardised, which can be achieved by more than one tutor checking the same work. The double-checked assessments can then be recorded in an appropriate way; in my case using a colour-coded grid to indicate what was assessed and when. This file can then be used throughout the course to maintain continuity between assessments and year-on-year so that students are assessed equally and fairly, and to enable teaching quality to be maintained or...